Don’t Shorten – Tighten!

Woman inside a Cradboard Box

“Long-form content is alive and well in an era of mobile content consumption,” says Neil Patel in “How to Write Content That Engages Mobile Readers”. Longer content is still appropriate, Patel explains, but, “instead of shortening your content, tighten your writing.”

As a blog content writer and trainer, I particularly appreciated Patel’s next statement: “Those focusing too much on mobile usability are giving short shrift to mobile copywriting. Content marketers must understand how to create content that mobile readers will love.”

And what sort of content is that? For starters, Patel explains, some of the old rules that apply to desktop reading just don’t work when it comes to mobile device readers.  Four pieces of outdated advice, he explains, include:

1.   The Golden Triangle (readers’ attention starts at the up left and goes down and to the right). This no longer applies in the era of mobile readers – there’s not enough screen real estate for horizontal sweeps and vertical movement, Patel points out. On mobile, viewers look primarily at the center of the screen.

2.   Users’ eyes are drawn to images over text. This rule is not valid for mobile. Don’t take up precious screen space with images that don’t advance your point.

3.   Users have shorter attention spans on mobile – write less. This counsel is wrong, Patel states. Longer content is still appropriate. Instead of shortening your content, tighten your writing. For mobile content, concise writing is essential, but the necessity has more to do with the screen size than the user’s attention span.

4.   Five sentences make for a good paragraph. Five sentences “turn into a wall of text on mobile, Patel explains.

Mobile readers still read articles. But the mobile revolution requires a reorientation to the art of writing.

The takeaway? Don’t write less. Write better!

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